When we first started looking into the gift card market we couldn’t believe that while a consumer (me and you) can visit a retailer’s website (e.g. Debenhams) to buy a digital gift card and receive an instant voucher (e-gift) this simply wasn’t the case in the B2B (business to business) world.

If you take the Voluntary Benefits (VB) market which is where a rewards, recognition and incentive company, e.g. Reward Gateway, NextJump, etc provide a platform for a company’s employees to enjoy certain benefits.

In this environment, an employee sees a high street brand (e.g. Topshop) at a slight discount (10% off) as an incentive for being a prized employee. So, they go ahead and buy a £100 digital gift card (in essence a digital code with a value of £100) for £90 so saving £10.

Now, you’d think that once that transaction is successful the customer would receive an email confirming the purchase as well as the digital code worth £100 to spend at Topshop. Oh no!

What happens is the VB platform provider collates all the orders for that specific retailer, put them into a spreadsheet, sends that spreadsheet to a third party or agency who then sends that spreadsheet to the brand (TopShop) who then allocates and activates a specific digital code to a specific customer for a specific amount, the brand sends it back to the third party or agency, the agency sends it to the VB platform provider and then finally as if by magic the customer receives their £100 digital code for TopShop! At which point they’ve totally forgot that they even bought it!!!

Smooth, eh? Not really is it. Come on guys we live in the 21st century now.

What’s also mind blowing is that this sequence of events could take anywhere from 2 hours up to 7 days so the customer is pretty much playing Russian Roulette without even knowing it.

Therefore, the big opportunity that Reward Cloud identified was building a bridge between the retailers (gift card brands), which in effect is their gift card processors, and third parties who want to consume and / or distribute their digital content. So, in effect, we’ve built a bridge connecting these two worlds.

Let’s not keep the end consumers guessing or being disappointed with the current user experience but instead start to delight them with an instant voucher (e-gift) ideally delivered via Reward Cloud. It’s the future.